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New goalkeeper Matthews: "I want to show everyone what I can do."

Archie Matthews, the latest highly promising keeper to be lured to The Vale, had just two words when asked what was the attraction of joining Wealdstone.

"Matt Taylor!" he said.

The new gaffer has only been in situ for just over a month and yet he has already delved into his bulging contacts book from a stellar playing career to sign someone he worked with at Swindon Town.

"The gaffer gave me a call the other day, said he wanted me and could give me the chance to play regular National League football and get a solid season under my belt," said Matthews who has been handed a two-year deal.

"Straight away I wanted to do it. It wasn't a hard question to answer. He explained how he wanted to play and that he'd been impressed by my clips, which is always a nice feeling."

Matthews was a teenager at Swindon when Taylor was in the twilight of his career at The County Ground. Taylor went onto become player/coach of the Robins.

"He was coming towards the end of his career when I was an Under-18 at Swindon," said Matthews. "I spent time training with him there and I've seen some of his goal highlights, blasting them in from 40 yards out."

Taylor would, you suspect, have sought the opinion of former Swindon goalkeeping coach Dean Thornton who worked with both Taylor and Matthews at the Robins and then took Matthews on loan to Swansea. Thornton is now goalkeeping coach with Premier League bound Southampton.

"He's been massive for my career," said Matthews. "I worked with him for three-and-a-bit years and had a massive part to play in my development. He's worked with me loads on my feet.

"I've been fortunate to work with very good goalies too, lots of different characters and personalties. Mar Travers and Lee Camp passed on some gems of wisdom so I've been very lucky."

Matthews turns 23 in August but he has already had ten clubs, seven of which have been loans in a bid to pick up as much experience as possible.

"I haven't had the best luck in terms of game time as a result of a couple of injuries, but now feels the time to put down some roots, have a solid season and the gaffer is giving me a great opportunity to do that," said Matthews.

Stones fans have been blessed to watch some fine goalkeepers in recent years, with Aston Oxborough, Harry Isted, George Wickens, Sam Howes, Jed Ward and Marcus Dewhurst all following in the footsteps of club legend Jonathan North. What can the supporters expect from Matthews in between the sticks?

"I'm pretty decent with my feet and I like to come for crosses," said Matthews. "I'd like to think I'm a bit of a jack of all trades and I like to be loud and good at organising the defence. You can give yourself a lot less work to do by organising and talking. I'm looking forward to coming in and showing everyone what I can do."

📸 Pictures by Sean Troup. Follow him on Instagram HERE


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